By Gary Berg-Cross
In an earlier article, Magic of Reality Part 2 –Why are You so Insensitive About my Real Myths?, I discussed an exchange between Richard Dawkins (RD) and Bill O’Reilly on his Fox show. I thought that Bill got much the worst of that exchange, but he is at Dawkins again, without having Richard there to defend himself. Instead he had mystic, spiritual author Deepak Chopra as a guest, who was hawking his new book, “War of the Worldviews: Science vs. Spirituality,” on the “O’Reilly Factor”. As you can imagine this book is quite a contrast with Dawkins Magic of Reality. And Deepak did spend some time contrasting his book to Dawkins'. But Chopra had more to say about Dawkin personally and this seemed pretty emotional, perhaps because the only time that Chopra had met Dawkins previously, was in an interview for Channel 4 in Oxford. He called that engagement an ambush since he did not know beforehand that he would be interviewed by Dawkins for TV. You can see a small snippet of that exchange about Chopra’s ideas on psychic healing, quantum theory and the arrogance of fundamentalist science on YouTube. And, of course, it is not the only time that Chopra’s belief about belief has been held up to critical thinking –see the snippet on belief and insecurity.
One way to make sense of what took place on the “O’Reilly Factor” was payback from Chopra and O’Reilly for being shown up by someone who really understands Science. Here is a bit of the phrases that O’Reilly used to characterize his first interview with Dawkins:
- Dawkins thinks that we are idiots.
- There’s more emotion in them (atheists),
- they get really upset and ticked off and
- I kicked his butt
Pretty emotion laden phrasing and you can watch Chopra's appearance on The Factor here and decide for yourself on whether reason or emotion was the main player in their discussion.